Concert Review: Santa Fe Symphony celebrates Mendelssohn and Darwin

Posted on: November 19, 2009

In Wednesday’s (11/18) Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico), D.S. Crafts writes, “Darwin and Mendelssohn. One doesn’t usually speak of the two in the same breath. But both did embark on travels at roughly the same time. Mendelssohn’s journey profoundly influenced the course of his music; Darwin’s profoundly influenced the course of human intellectual development. Celebrating this Darwin anniversary year, the Santa Fe Symphony Saturday evening at the Lensic Performing Arts Center presented a concert ‘Voyages of Discovery’ accompanying music by Mendelssohn by dramatic, costumed readings of letters by Darwin (Jonathan Richards) and by Mendelssohn (Kirk Ellis). Furthermore, there were mini lectures about the two men given by David Krakauer of the Santa Fe Institute and SFS Music Director Steven Smith. … The music was all Mendelssohn, beginning with excerpts from his incidental music to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ the most characteristic and easily identifiable of all the composer’s works. The richly-endowed Intermezzo was followed by a beautiful rendition of the Nocturne with excellent playing from the French horns (Deborah Fialek and Peter Ulffers), and finally the fanciful Scherzo with its whimsical air of a fairy-tale world.” Also on the program were Smith’s arrangement of Song Without Words “Trauermarsch,” the Hebrides Overture, and Symphony No. 3, “Scottish.”

Posted November 19, 2009